The Sackler family is exempt from litigation involving opioids

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Local and state governments attribute the drug epidemic to OxyContin. Image source: REUTERS

The billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company associated with the US opioid crisis, have reached a settlement agreement worth $6 billion. As part of this settlement, they will be granted protection from lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.

The settlement aims to resolve the numerous lawsuits and legal claims against Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family.

This agreement comes amidst a widespread opioid epidemic in the United States, where opioids have caused significant harm and addiction among individuals.

The settlement’s intention is to provide financial compensation and establish a mechanism for addressing the impact of the crisis, while also shielding the Sackler family from further litigation.

It’s worth noting that this settlement has been subject to significant controversy and criticism from various stakeholders, including those who argue that the financial compensation falls short of the extent of damage caused by the opioid crisis.

The settlement and the legal protection it grants to the Sackler family are topics of ongoing debate and public discourse.

Due to the flood of thousands of lawsuits, Purdue Pharma, the firm in charge of creating medications like OxyContin and implicated in the opioid crisis, filed for bankruptcy in 2019.

In a recent decision, an appeals court decided to provide the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, total protection from civil lawsuits.

The Sackler family has agreed to pay $6 billion as part of its settlement deal to treat the opioid addiction problem.

This decision comes following the family’s longstanding appeal for civil immunity, and the court finding removes a key hurdle to the release of these money.

The municipal, state, and individuals who have filed lawsuits against the business are anticipated to receive the financial settlement. 

The ruling regarding the settlement and civil immunity for the Sackler family was issued by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The details of the settlement have been the subject of legal disputes for several years.

Judge Eunice Lee, in the ruling, highlighted the interconnectedness of the claims against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.

She emphasized that allowing the lawsuits to target the Sacklers would hinder Purdue Pharma’s ability to reach a bankruptcy agreement.

With this ruling in place, the settlement can now proceed towards final approval from the court. While the ruling provides protection to the Sackler family against future civil cases, it does not shield them from potential criminal charges that may arise from the opioid crisis.

It is important to note that the settlement and the court’s decision have generated significant debate and controversy, as different stakeholders hold varying perspectives on the extent of accountability and justice in addressing the opioid crisis.

As part of the settlement agreement, the Sackler family will relinquish ownership of the company, which will undergo rebranding and operate under the name “Knoa.

” The profits generated by the restructured company will be directed towards a fund aimed at supporting addiction treatment.

As a significant aspect of the settlement, the Sackler family has been required to listen to the stories of individuals affected by the drug as a condition of the deal.

Many of the complainants were state and local governments, which alleged that OxyContin played a role in triggering the opioid epidemic.

Furthermore, the Sackler family has agreed to have their name removed from buildings and scholarships associated with their past philanthropic contributions.

This move aims to disassociate their name from the controversies surrounding the opioid crisis and Purdue Pharma.

These provisions reflect an effort to address the impact of the opioid crisis, hold the responsible parties accountable, and provide support for addiction treatment and rehabilitation.

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